Republican lawmakers say they have little to no idea what President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore ‘Independence Day’ star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a ‘freedom mask’ in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump’s July Fourth address MORE’s agenda would be if he wins a second term, making it difficult for GOP candidates to coordinate campaign messages ahead of November.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPublic awareness campaigns will protect the public during COVID-19 Democrats: A moment in history, use it wisely ‘Comrade’ Trump gets ‘endorsement’ from Putin in new mock ad by Lincoln Project MORE (R-Ky.) said last year he wanted the 2020 election to be a referendum on socialism, but instead it’s turning into a referendum on Trump, a scenario that GOP senators wanted to avoid.
Congressional Republicans say Trump spends too much time going after critics on Twitter and not enough time articulating his vision for a possible second term. They would prefer more contrasts between their party and Democrats on issues such as taxes and regulation — areas they think could be part of a winning formula in the fall.
Instead, Republican senators say there has been little discussion about what Trump’s second term would look like, other than the assumption he might have a chance to appoint another Supreme Court justice and fill other judicial vacancies.
Asked if he knew what Trump’s agenda would be if he wins reelection, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyCongress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits US, Mexico set for new post-NAFTA trade era Senators press IRS chief on stimulus check pitfalls MORE (R-Iowa) said, “Only on the Supreme Court.”
“That’s the only discussion we’ve had,” Grassley said. “The president, he’s going to put out a new list, including some of the people that are already on the list, for the Supreme Court.”
“I assume we’re going to be dealing with a U.K.-U.S. free trade agreement, Kenya-U.S. free trade agreement,” he added.
Grassley predicted Trump is “going to” speak more about his agenda in the coming months.
Another GOP senator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there’s been little direction from the White House about its agenda in the event of a second term.
Asked if the president has described to Republican senators his agenda for after the election, the senator said, “No.”
The senator said that needs to change in order to give Republicans a better chance of keeping control of the White House and Senate.
“Candidates win or lose in part because of what they describe will happen if they’re elected. There are lots of reasons why people vote for or against people. One of the components is ‘If I’m…